How To Get Mind-Blowing Results From Every Blog Post You Publish

Simple Blogging Tips

Have you ever sat back and wondered how some people publish blog posts that consistently do better than yours?

I have and I desperately wanted to do better.

And that’s what I did.

Along the way I figured out what worked and what didn’t.

I figured out how to get more eyeballs on my content, get more social shares, more comments and more email subscribers.

Now, I want to help YOU to do the same.

Are you ready?

Free Guide: Simple Blogging Tips

Note: confirm your email address and get access to all of my exclusive content (past and present).

Create a headline that reaches out and grabs your audience

Before anyone even reads your content – they’ll read your headline.

It’s the first and ultimate point of failure for your content.

If your headline sucks then you’ll struggle to gain any traction at all.

But, on the other hand – if your headline compels people to read your content; that’s when the magic really happens.

Some advice that has proven to work for me, and I think it’ll work well for you too:

  • Numbers work great, but when numbers are too high people may be inclined to avoid reading because they don’t have the time to read or even implement your advice. Offset by using words like “bit-sized”.
  • People love to learn ‘how to’ do something.
  • Incorporate words that you don’t usually see in headlines. For example, great becomes incredible and easy becomes effortless.
  • Sometimes you may need to avoid jargon.
  • Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it will compel people to check out your content.
  • Controversy will catch people’s attention but use with caution.
  • Make a promise that is realistic and at least within the realm of possibilities for your audience to achieve.
  • Leave an unanswered question and you will spark curiosity.

Above all else, remember that your headline is a promise and it’s your job to deliver on that promise with the rest of your content.

And if you really want to wow your audience – take the expectations you have set with your headline and blow them out of the water with your content.

Make each sub-heading tell its own story

Have you noticed how I’ve worded each of the sub-headings in this post?

Instead of just listing out; headlines, sub-headings, visuals, shareable quotes etc – I’ve turned each one of them into their own headline.

As Steve Krug (Author of Don’t Make Me Think) says:

“We don’t read pages. We Scan them.”

Think of writing your sub-headings like how you would write your headlines.

Write them to tell their own story, reach out and grab your audience.

When you write for power skimmers, you are taking an important step into keeping your readers around for longer.

And most importantly, reading more of your content.

Create eye-catching visuals that invoke emotion

Eye-catching visuals make a difference.

Shortly after I started putting more effort into the visual content on my site, I received positive feedback and even got some mentions from other blogs.

My content even got more shares, especially on Pinterest which can be an incredible source of traffic.

The beautiful thing about this is that anyone can do it.

It’s far easier than what you might think.

Just creating something like this took me a few minutes:

Visual Content Example

How to get started creating your own high impact visuals

The best starting point you can get here is using a free tool called Canva – it has predefined templates to help you make your images look awesome.

You can also purchase stock photos directly from within Canva for $1 each.

Sites full of free stock photo’s (that don’t suck)

In addition to the stock photos within Canva, there are plenty of great sites that will give you access to free stock photos:

Important note: be careful when you use free stock photo’s, some sites don’t check whether an image can legally be used. This can come back to haunt you in the future and cost you a lot. For more information on what you can/can’t use, check out this post by Peg Fitzpatrick – it’s got plenty of resources to help you.  (H/T to Benjamin in the comments for mentioning this).

Other resources to help you make better visuals

If you want to start creating eye-catching visuals that help you and your blog stand out, these resources will help you:

Embed shareable quotes to make your content go further

I’ve seen a lot of people using ‘click to tweet’ links within their content to encourage social sharing.

And it seems to be working quite well.

Some of them look like this:

To generate this box, I’m using a WordPress plugin called ‘Tweet Dis’.

It’s a premium plugin (only $17) but there is a free alternative called ‘Click To Tweet’ but I opted for the paid plugin because it was just better.

What I love about it is that; unlike other plugins, you can actually customize how the ‘click to tweet’ box actually appears.

You can then integrate with various URL shorteners (E.g. Bitly), add your Twitter username and even customize your call to action.

I’ve already had some success with basic ‘tweet this’ links, so my hope is to use this plugin to drive even better results.

Leverage the influence of others

Whatever stage your blog is at – this will help you to get to the top.

In most niches there are a lot of people who already have a large, established audience.

You can leverage that.

And it’s easier than you might think.

I’ve built entire businesses this way – it works.

You need to find out who these influencers are

If you have been working in your niche for a while, you may already be able to list quite a few names of people who have influence without using any tools.

To speed this process up, tools like BuzzSumo can pull in results from Twitter and will cost you nothing to get started.

Software like Authority Spy can pull in results from multiple social networks while listing actual social profiles and contact information, and while it’s not free, it can be a huge time saver. The depth of the data isn’t what you’d find in some of the more expensive tools, but it’s easy to use and can serve as an effective starting point for you.

Say awesome stuff about these influencers

People love it when you say awesome stuff about them, and in most cases this is essentially a ‘validation’ of the influencer(s) that you’re talking about.

That’s what makes this so powerful; people like to tell their followers when other people say great things about them.

Don’t say awesome stuff without meaning it though – that’s not going to help.

For example, if you’re working on a new blog post and an influencer in your niche has a relevant piece of content that would add value for your readers – link out to it.

You could take this a step further and actually involve influencers in your content directly.

In most situations, these influencers are usually industry experts so you can approach them and ask them for a quote to add to your post.

This works best when you make it a shareable quote, like I mentioned earlier.

You could also do an interview or a group interview – both can work very well.

The step that most people get completely wrong

Whether you’ve asked an influencer to give you a quote for a post, or you’ve just mentioned them in a post – you need to let them know about the post.

There are a number of ways you can do this:

  • Email them to give them a heads up
  • @mention them on Twitter
  • Tag them on Google+
  • Tag them on Facebook

As a form of communication, email is the more direct root – I’ve had much better results with that.

And you don’t always have to openly ask them to share your content. You can get good results by just emailing them the link.

As far as the social media mentions are concerned, you can get some great results with G+ and Facebook.

Twitter can also work well, but the life of a tweet is much shorter than updates on other networks.

IMPORTANT: Remember that you can over do things here so pick several methods of communication and space them out.

If you actually ask someone directly to share your content, limit that call to action to a single communication channel. If you use others then only mention them passively with no direct ask to share your content.

DON’T DO THIS: A while back someone tried this with me and in the space of an hour I got:

  • Mentioned on Twitter
  • Emailed directly
  • A message sent directly to my personal FB page
  • A message sent directly to my Blogging Wizard FB page
  • Tagged in an Facebook status

It’s good to get a heads up on this type of thing, but you don’t want to make anyone feel like they’re being hounded.

Most people would just get annoyed and then the result is that a relationship with an influencer is burned.

Ultimately, remember to go easy, be patient, observe blogger outreach best practices and remember that these are busy people that you’re dealing with.

Not all people will end up sharing your content. That’s to be expected, some will if you do this in the right way and the results can be phenomenal.

Offer something exclusive for each post

People love exclusive content.

And you can create exclusive content that will do one of two things:

  • Expand the reach of your blog post using social media
  • Build your email list

Understandably, creating exclusive content can take a lot of extra time – it’s worth doing but time is always a factor.

A great alternative would be to offer a PDF version of your blog post, it’s not as compelling but I’ve had some great success with it in the past.

Using exclusive content to get more social shares

A while back I published some posts where I offered exclusive templates for those who shared the posts.

I added a social content locker (WP Sharely) which enabled me to hide a link to the template until someone shared.

On some posts this managed to get me a 10-25% increase in social shares.

This is how it looked:

WP Sharely Share Locker

There are definitely a few things which I could have done better – the templates that I offered related to a single heading within a blog post in most cases.

This usually resulted in the content locker getting buried in the post.

I could have gotten better results if I prepared a template that was relevant to the entire post and moved the content locker closer to the top of the post.

Use exclusive content to build your email list

Recently I published a blog post where I offered a PDF version of that post – I added around 150 new email subscribers just by doing that.

What I did was create a LeadBox using LeadPages.

A LeadBox is a 2-step opt-in box that appears when a special link is clicked.

LeadBox Example

The amazing thing about this is that the link can be used on any website and analytics are tracked from within your LeadPages account.

I originally bought LeadPages to help me create landing pages VERY quickly but the LeadBox feature presented a great opportunity.

Also, LeadPages handles the delivery of the PDF file, so that when someone entered their email, they’d get the PDF emailed to them straight away – no messing around.

Then all I had to do was to create a button that would become my call to action. This was just a basic image which I added the LeadBox link to.

I’ve used a similar tactic in this post, but there’s a twist.

Instead of a PDF version which includes the same content as the blog post – this PDF version includes that and a lot more.

Here it is again so you can see how it works:

Free Guide: Simple Blogging Tips

Let your readers know what to do next

Here’s a question for you:

When a reader finishes reading a piece of content on your website, what do you want them to do next?

Do you want them to read another piece of content, sign up for your mailing list, buy a product or leave a comment?

One of the most popular goals that bloggers have for their readers is to leave a comment.

This works great because it’s all about generating engagement and developing discussion around your blog posts – it gets more people involved and shows to other readers that people are engaging with you.

This can be as simple as ending your blog post with a question.

I quite like how Copyblogger do this; they typically have a very strong call to action where they invite readers to share their thoughts.

The only difference here is that Copyblogger have now closed their comments and now ask readers to respond on Google+.

A bold move that won’t work for all blogs, but, it’s a great example of a really strong call to action that encourages users to comment.

Copyblogger Google+ Engagement

An opportunity that most bloggers miss

I know what it’s like.

Spending days on a piece of content to get it just right then after it goes live – nothing happens.

Your analytics looks like a ghost town.

I’ve been there but I quickly learned that there was an important step that I was missing.

The truth is that clicking publish is just the beginning.

The next step is to spend a significant amount of time promoting your blog posts, but now the question is – how?

  1. Email your list about your blog post
  2. Add internal links to existing blog posts which are relevant (preferably traffic generating posts)
  3. Connect your blog to Triberr and join relevant tribes (sharing other people’s content helps)
  4. Leverage niche social bookmarking sites (for example, ManageWP.org for WordPress and BizSugar.com for business related content)
  5. Contact anyone mentioned in the post and ask them to help
  6. Create a unique graphic for Pinterest and share it to Pinterest group boards
  7. Repurpose your content into a video, slidedeck or eBook
  8. Make your blog post the centre of a guest posting campaign (think about the visibility benefit rather than the SEO benefit)
  9. Buy cheap traffic using a content recommendation service like Outbrain (I’ve managed to get traffic as cheap as $0.05 and that’s for engaged visitors)
  10. Find out who in your niche is doing any industry roundups and ask them to feature your content (just run a quick Google search for “niche”+”roundup” or something similar)

Putting it all together

When you use the right tactics you can get mind-blowing results.

You have to be prepared to put the extra time in but when you see the results – you’ll be glad that you did.

Free Guide: Simple Blogging Tips

Note: confirm your email address and get access to all of my exclusive content (past and present).

 

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Adam the headline is such a big part of this equation. Spend 5 or 10 minutes thinking headlines through before posting. Thanks!

    • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      That’s it exactly, Ryan. Those 5 or 10 minutes extra is sometimes all you need to get far better results.

      Just for this post, I ended up with around 10+ title ideas before I settled on one. #9 was the winner in the end.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Teresa Bowen

    Just by consistently following your advice I am getting more visitors to my blog and they are leaving comments!!! Thanks for the help

    • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Teresa, that’s great to hear! So glad my advice is working for you. Happy to help!

  • http://joeyinpoznan.com/blog Joseph Wagner

    The tips in the influencers section are really good, I’ll put that into practice this week. Thanks for another great article Adam!

    • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      My pleasure, Joseph. Great to hear that you’ll be implementing some tips from the influencers section soon!

  • http://empowermentmomentsblog.com/ Yvonne I. Wilson

    Hi Adam,
    I stumbled upon your blog/post via Pinterest and I am so happy that I did. Before I even read the post, I was captivated by the title and so I pinned it. I took the time after to read the post and this is among the best social media tips post I have ever read. (not saying this to make an impression :) It is what it is.) I plan on taking your advice and consistently follow each idea step by step. Thank you for blessing others with your wisdom.

    • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Yvonne,

      Thanks so much for checking out my post, commenting and sharing – I really appreciate it.

      I really appreciate the kind words, it’s great to know that you’ve found the post useful and that you’ll be putting these tips into action.

      My pleasure!

      All the best,
      Adam

  • http://www.geekengage.com/ Sourav Sudhi

    The world is full of noise and how do we get people read what we write ? It takes more than good content or great design. The most important part of writing an article is the headline. It is important to develop some kind of Sure-Fire Headline Formulas for our articles.

    We live in the age of visuals , where Images speaks more than words.So, it is very important to focus on the type of Images we use. I spend quite a lot of time searching for the best , interesting and relevant image for my articles.
    “Make each sub-heading tell its own story ” , that sounds really interesting. Would try them soon :)

    Great one Adam , as usual :)

    • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks for the great comment, Sourav.

      Headlines and visuals are so important – it’s always worth spending the time to get them just right.

      Glad you’ve got your eye on a specific tip to takeaway and implement.

      Thanks! :)
      Adam

  • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

    Thanks Benjamin, that’s a great point.

    I’ve added a note in the post with a link to some additional resources that talk about this in more detail.

  • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

    Ryan,

    Thanks so much for the awesome comment.

    Glad to know you’ll be back – I’ve got plenty more great posts lined up.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.shadeofinfo.com/blog/ Andrew M. Warner

    Hey Adam,

    Great post. Your part about letting the readers know what to do next is spot on. This is something that I know for a fact I haven’t been doing and I’m starting correct that. It’s good to get readers to read your post but you want them to take some sort of action afterwards as well.

    Also, creating a headline is really important and is probably one of is not THE MOST important part to a blog post. You can have a great post on something but if that headline is not riveting enough to get people to click it, then your post will get no exposure.

    Great post Adam.

    • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hey Andrew,

      Thanks for the kind words – I really appreciate it. Just caught your Tweet too. Thanks for sharing!

      I’ve found that from a user perspective, knowing what to do next is also very helpful. In the past I found myself reading blog posts and then thinking “that’s cool, but now what?”. Even if it’s something like reading another post that continues on to the next logical step – it’s better than nothing.

      I’m with you – headlines are incredibly important. As David Ogilvy says, 5 times more people read your headlines than the body of your copy. I wonder if it’s now a higher number. You’ve hit the nail on the head with that. Headlines can make or break the content.

      Thanks Andrew!

      • http://www.shadeofinfo.com/blog/ Andrew M. Warner

        Hey Adam,

        You’re 100% correct about all you shared. It’s a shame that many people don’t take writing headlines seriously.

        Have a great weekend.

        • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

          Hey Andrew,

          Definitely!

          Have a great weekend too.

          Adam

  • http://www.highpoweredseo.com/ Steven J Wilson

    Hi Adam,

    Excellent post! I soo agree with what you have to say about “Clicking Publish is just the beginning”. The headline will be the thing that makes everything you do after your post much more effective.

    Also, I just want to share a resource I use for free images, search[dot]creativecommons[dot]org. I like this one because you can go from searching Google to searching Flickr and so on with a click.

    Thanks for this Adam! Take care…

    • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post.

      You’re spot on about the headline, out of everything that I do when I work on a new post – it’s the headline that makes the difference.

      Thanks for recommending the Creative Commons search, I’ve been meaning to try that!

      My pleasure, take care too, Steven!

  • http://www.anphira.com Gen Herres

    For free pictures, I also really like FreePik, in addition to being a search engine they create hundreds of free pieces themselves — many editable vectors. Yay free high quality vectors! And frequently they are done as sets of related items, which can be really handy.

    • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Gen, FreePik is a new one to me but it sounds incredible. Thanks for the recommendation – I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now and I especially like the way they release vectors in sets.

  • Bhanu Chander

    Hi Adam,

    Once again you made a fabulous post – that is informative and useful even to influences !

    I’m surprised to see so many tools for every activity in your post. Glad to know about them. I also appreciate your involvement on your own ideas “Offer something free …..”

    Speaking about influencers is definitely the fastest way to drive positive results !

    • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Bhanu,

      Thanks for the kind words – glad you’ve found it useful.

      There are a lot of useful tools for almost anything we could want to do as bloggers. I’m quite big on tools.

      Definitely!

      Thanks for the comment.

  • http://bloggerjet.com/ Tim Soulo

    Hey buddy! Lots of awesome tips you have here! Thanks a lot for mentioning TweetDis in your amazing article! I also got a few nice tools to search for free images, that helps! Thanks! :)

    • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hey Tim, thanks for the kind words.

      No problem at all – really liking TweetDis. CoSchedule’s plugin was ok but this adds some great features to the mix.

      Anytime :)

  • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

    Gen, I’ve not been using Canva for long myself. I’m even finding it much easier to use than more powerful software like Photoshop.

  • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

    Thanks so much for the kind words, Adrienne!

    My pleasure – you’re definitely right about the post length thing.

    I was actually aiming for around 1,600 words, but before I knew it, I’d gone over by almost 1,000.

    The longer posts tend to do better for me though, not sure if you’ve found the same thing?

    Definitely, I know what you mean! It takes a long time to put our posts together doesn’t it!

    One thing I’ve started doing is creating the images in Canva, well for the featured image and I find it so much faster than any other image editing tool.

    That’s what I love about blogging, there’s always something else that we can all do to get better results.

    It’s exciting to think about how we will be doing what we do in over 1 years time – things change fast!

    Thanks so much! Really glad you’ve found this useful and I really appreciate you sharing the post.

    Thanks!
    Adam

  • http://sksmith.wordpress.com Sherman Smith

    Hey Adam,

    I don’t normally use this word, but I’m “flabbergasted” with all the value you had in this post. Wow! and that’s a genuine Wow. You have answer some of my questions on how I can keep building traffic and improving my results.

    I have made a change from last year. I had to look at some of the little ‘minor’ things that was keeping my blog post to get the results I wanted. I feel like I made a 180 turn from last year. This contest here will very much so add to it’s growth… i’m probably doing 25% of the things you mentioned.

    Ok I have to come back to this specific blog post later! Thanks for the share and I hope you have a great weekend!

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hey Sherman,

      Thanks so much – great to know that you’ve found this post useful!

      It’s great that you’ve continued to make changes, sounds like you’ve made some significant changes recently which is awesome!

      And most importantly, you’re on the right track!

      The results will follow :)

      My pleasure – have a great weekend too!

  • http://keepupwiththeweb.com Sherryl Perry

    These are all such great tips Adam! My two favorites are using sub-headings and asking questions. I have never heard of Outbrain before and I am so reluctant to pay for promotion that I may have been missing a great opportunity. I’m definitely going to check that out.

    BTW – I know it’s been a while since I’ve visited here but I’ve been lax in my commenting lately. I did make it to Adrienne’s blog this week and couldn’t resist following her link here. I’m glad I did!

    I hope you’re having a great week. You’re so productive, you may be working through it though.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Sherryl, thanks so much for the kind words!

      I felt exactly the same about Outbrain at first but I was able to get the CPC’s so low that it worked out great.

      I’m glad you did too! I’ve been lax in my commenting lately too!

      I hope you’re having a great week too! I usually work through, but will be taking some time off soon. Not too much though :)

      Thanks for a great comment!

  • http://www.garrettspecialties.com/ Arleen Harry

    I totally agree with that that there is more than just hitting the publish button.. You have to go out and work your blog. It is very time consuming but one day it will pop. I am looking forward to that day. I must thank Adrienne for sending me to your blog. You are very detailed and much appreciated. I am starting to get followers which is very rewarding.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Arleen,

      That’s it exactly – it takes a lot of time but when it happens, it will be well worth it.

      Thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate it :)

      Great to hear that you’re getting followers. The success that you’re having will continue to grow and grow!

      Thanks,
      Adam

  • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

    Hi Max, thanks so much for coming over from Adrienne’s thankful thursday post.

    Great to hear you’ve been included in some roundups already – that’s a great indicator that more people should be reading your content.

    Very true about Facebook, I’ve been pulling away from my own Facebook page too and I’ve heard a lot of people mention that they will be focusing on groups or other platforms more.

    There is a click to tweet plugin I think – I believe it works by adding shortcode around the snippet of text you want to use. Here’s the link: https://wordpress.org/plugins/click-to-tweet-by-todaymade/

    My pleasure, Max – really glad you’ve found this post useful.

    And I love your approach towards getting better as you go.

    Thanks and take care too!

    Adam

  • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

    Hi Max,

    Just done some checking on the plugin I mentioned, there’s definitely some drawbacks. For example it forces a powered by link and there’s no URL shortening option.

    Right now I’m using TweetDis.com which supports shortcode placement, URL shortening, no powered by link etc.

    It works like this:

    [tweet_box]INSERT QUOTE[/tweet_box]

    Here’s my affiliate link if you want to give it a try: http://www.bloggingwizard.com/go/tweetdis

    It’s $17.

    Hope this helps!

    Thanks,
    Adam

  • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

    Hi Max,

    My pleasure.

    Glad Adrienne was able to provide you with the html code to create your own tweet this link.

    Thanks, let me know how it goes!

    Great to hear that you’re also taking part in interviews, especially the podcast.

    I know Ashley, great guy! That will be a really interesting podcast.

    You’re right, it’s amazing for connecting with people.

    Publishing your own roundups are a great way to build relationships with other bloggers, they work especially well when you tag the other bloggers on Twitter or Google+.

    Thanks,
    Adam

  • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

    No worries, Max.

    Look forward to hearing how the code Adrienne showed you works.

    Thanks,
    Adam

  • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

    Thanks Jane!

    Great to hear you’ve been having good results from your shareable quotes – using them to share a crucial point or good quote is a great way to go.

    Glad you’re finding BuzzSumo useful, I’ve also had some good success using it to find influencers – they’ve added some great new features recently.

    My pleasure, Jane :)